Upshur County FRN Director Lori Ulderich Harvey has joined in with the Count Me in WV program to help encourage folks to complete the 2020 Census. Harvey said one of the contests being sponsored locally for the Count Me in WV Day of Action, June 17, is finding road signs with ‘Take the Census’ printed on them and posting a picture of the sign and giving its location. The contest runs through the end of the month and a winner will be selected July 1. Entries should be posted or search for @countmeinwvuc.

Upshur FRN urging residents to fill out census, participate in ‘Count Me In’ contests

BUCKHANNON – If you have not completed and submitted your 2020 Census Form, it is not too late.

In Buckhannon, the Count Me In WV Day of Action begins June 17 and will continue through the end of the month giving local folks the opportunity to complete their census forms or show they have already completed them, find ‘Take the Census’ road signs, submit artwork and win prizes.

Lori Ulderich Harvey, director of the Upshur County Family Resource Network, said she is working to help promote the 2020 Census through Count Me in WV – Upshur County and announced there is a new contest happening in the area.

“There are signs around the county and all you need to do is take a picture of the ‘Take the Census’ sign and post it to the comments of the event page @countmeinwvuc,” Harvey said. “On July 1, we will select the winner.” (Go to

The Count Me in WV Coalition reminds residents that the census is safe: Information cannot be shared with any person or agency including law enforcement, housing authorities, immigration and customs officials. It says the survey is just 10 questions long, takes less than 10 minutes to complete and is important because the census brings nearly $7 billion in federal funding to West Virginia. The census also determines the size/location of federal and state House of Delegates and Senate districts.

The Count Me in WV Coalition Facebook site says that for each resident who isn’t counted in the state, West Virginia loses more than $3,000 annually and those funds impact funding for roads, education, health care, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other safety net benefits.

Harvey said residents who have not completed their 2020 Census can do so online at or by phoning 1-844-330-2020. She also recommends that folks visit the Make Your Family Count 2020 Census and watch the Sesame Street characters explain why the 2020 Census is important as explained by ‘The Count.’

The website timeline says in mid-April, the Census Bureau mailed paper questionnaires to homes that had not yet responded online or by phone. From July 1 to September 3, Census takers will work with administrators at colleges, senior centers, prisons and other facilities that house large groups of people to make sure everyone is counted.

The site lists that from Aug. 11 to Oct. 31, Census takers will interview homes which have not responded to the 2020 Census assure everyone is counted.

The next important dates listed on the timeline include December, when the Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress. Finally, by March 31, 2021, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to the states, allowing them to redraw legislative districts based on population change.

According to the W.Va. Census website, not responding to the census can lead to major cuts in funding for important programs and services including nonprofit organizations; public health agencies; emergency and disaster responders; education; and Veterans’ assistance. It says funding from the census helps fight poverty, drives businesses and helps grow underdeveloped areas.

“We are looking for creative ways to get folks to complete their census,” Harvey said. “We hope people will look for our 12 signs around the county.”

Harvey said in West Virginia, it is especially hard to get a good count of kids because there are so many children in foster care.

“It’s always better to go ahead and put the foster child on your census because when they go through, the doubles are weeded out,” Harvey said.

In April, Upshur County went up against Lewis County to see who could get in the most completed Census 2020 forms. Harvey said Lewis County won by a small margin. She said there will hopefully be more contests to continue to encourage folks to file their forms and be counted.

“We are working to get counts especially because census forms are not sent to PO Boxes,” Harvey said. “One thing I am trying to stress is that all of the information is confidential.”

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